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September 11

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Like December 7 and November 22, for most Americans of a certain age, today’s date still sends a shiver down the spine and causes the breath to quicken.  For those of us in the airline industry, our lives will never be the same, even eight years later.  I don’t know about my Coworkers, but I replay those events in my mind even today.  From the sheer horror of the day; to the incredible acts of courage that played out in smoke-filled stairways and crumbling buildings and in the cabin of an airliner over Pennsylvania whose passengers said “this stops here, no more”; to the unnatural quiet in our skies that followed, the images and memories remain fresh in my mind.  I never thought silence could be so deafening until I “heard” what life without air travel sounds like.  I also will never forget how my Coworkers came together in a unified purpose to get America back in the air and to bring the sound of Freedom back to the skies over our nation.

This year on the anniversary of 9/11, we want to honor both those who gave and lost so much on that bright, evil September morning, and those who give us so much every day.  In order to salute the heroes of 9/11, including our friends at American and United, and to honor our soldiers, sailors, and airmen who continue to bravely and unhesitatingly march into harm’s way to keep us safe, we are encouraging all of our Employees to wear red or, for those who are required to wear a specific uniform like our Flight Crews, a patriotic item.

23 Comments
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Dear Southwest Airlines, My husband, teenagers and I are flying on S.W tomorrow morning to attend a wedding in another state. I am so nervous regarding flying, especially on Sept 11th. If anybody is on this blog now, please write me that everything will be o.k on both the flight as well at the return flight! Thank so much, Allie
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The images of 9/11 will forever replay in my mind, along with the sickening feeling, as we saw the attack upon our Country in progress. I fear that many have already forgotten what was done to our People and to our Country that day. We need to remember, and make sure that our Children know, that we must must remain vigilant. For the sake of the innocent who perished that day, we must never forget. God Bless America and God Bless Southwest Airlines!
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Hi Allie, I woouldn't hesitate to get on an airplane today, and I know you will be in great hands with our Pilots and Flight Attendants. Brian
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This is Southwest. We operated then as a family should, and we will continue doing so, in the Great Southwest Spirit. Fearing a situation is not a solution, doing something is. Fly today in confidence. This country was built so we would not have to live in fear. This company was built with LOVE. Your in good hands.
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Allie, You should have no worries, I can not tell you everything that has happened in the airline business since 9/11 to keep only the good guys on the airplane. Knowing somewhat of what the TSA has done and knowing just about everything airlines have done, you should breathe easy and enjoy your flight. - Richard
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Allie, I'm actually flying Southwest tonight. There's nothing to be worried about. Brian is correct in saying that we will be in the good hands of the crew. Give your fears to God and enjoy the flight!
Active Member
Although I wasn't employed at SWA at the time, I remember our hometown pride in the once-small, start-up airline that showed us in Dallas and the rest of the country that they had truly grown up. The local display of patriotism, pride and unity of purpose that is collectively known as "The Southwest SPIRIT" was impossible to miss, and I'm sure was likewise repeated at Stations around the country. The Employees of Southwest showed then that they could rise above adversity and competitiveness as they supported their own co-workers and simultaneously reached out to their fellow airline workers, most notably at the other airline headquartered in the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex. Walking through the halls of our Headquarters Building today, it is inspiring and encouraging to see the large number of people wearing red shirts, and I'm sure this gesture is being mirrored at 67 airports across this great nation. We are proud to join all Americans today in remembering and honoring the victims and the events of 9/11, and in saluting all of the men and women of our military who are serving our country both here and abroad. The Warrior Spirit, the Servant's Hearts and the FUN-LUVing Attitudes of 35,000 Employees are strong at Southwest Airlines! Kim
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Allie...... I am a Southwest employee, my daughter is flying today. It's a day that we will never forget but we must not live in fear. No one can say that everything will be okay but we must continue with our lives and not let them have us live in constant fear. If I did not believe that everything would be fine I certainly would not have let my daughter board that airplane this morning.
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Allie - I share some of your nervousness about commercial air travel, however, I will say that I have trusted my college age son's life to Southwest Airlines for about a year now as he travels back and forth between college and home. Southwest has proven itself to be a wonderful and safe airline during that time, and while, yes, I say a little prayer each time he's in flight, I know that he's in the best possible hands.
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Let us celebrate the lives of all the people lost 8 yrs ago today. Remember all of the men, woman and children, from all of the nations of the world! Remember that since then; men and woman have died to protect our freedom. Remember what this great country was founded on! Remember that we are Americans and nothing will stand in our way!!! GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!! and may those who have died, rest in peace, God bless.
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September 11th is always a bittersweet day for me - the birthday of a very dear friend, and the passing of another on Flight 93 - the plane that "fought" and crashed in Shanksville, PA in 2001. My sister, a Southwest employee, has a son who is bound for Afghanistan with the US Marines as a result of what happened 8 years ago today. If we all could just see how much we are truly alike rather than focusing on our differences. "Let peace begin on Earth, and let it begin with me."
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It is said that people are defined not by how they handle the good times, but rather how they react in bad times. As Americans, we define this country and our response to 9-11 shows nothing but strength, LUV, compassion, and bravery. Nothing more needs to be said about who we are as a nation. All we need to do is look at the people and organizations all over the country who were affected and how we responded in the face of this horrible, evil act: Remembering those killed: -The NYPD and NYFD and Port Authority that were killed in saving the 17,000+ people in the World Trade Center at the time of the attack. -55 Military personnel killed in the Pentagon who had enlisted to protect us from harm. -The passengers of Flights American 11, United 175, American 77, United 93 (Who refused to allow the terrorist to commit their act against humanity) -The flight crews of Flights American 11, United 175, American 77, United 93 -The military men and women who have lost their lives defending against future attacks in the War against Terror. -Finally, the 2998 citizens from all over the world working here in America to better themselves, their families, and this great country. Recognition of American Strenth: -The response of New York emergency responders saving thousands of lives at the expense of their own. -The small business and large corporations that contributed millions to the 9-11 relief fund -The numerous stories of the bravery of coworkers, friends, and strangers that pulled each other from the remains of the Pentagon and WTC. -The amazing feat of Air Traffic Controller in landing EVERY plane in the air to protect the lives of millions more. -The rapid response of the airlines in reaching out to the families affected as well as their response and dedication to improve safety and security. -The US Government and President Bush (love him or hate him) for putting all their political divisions aside and uniting in the shadow of disaster to support and encourage America to get back on its feet. -The international community for reach out to America to support us however possible. -The charitable organizations like the American Red Cross for coordinating relief, blood drives, fund raising, and any other resources possible to ease the pain on America. -Churches across the world held services to pray for those affected. The greatest thing about Americans is that when disaster strikes, we band together and overcome whatever obstacles face us and move on to make our society a better, safer place while never forgetting those who have died before us. Fly those planes whether its Southwest,United, American, US Airways, etc. Fly because we don't back down from the threats of the world because we are Americans.
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To everyone who has commented so far, beautifully done, and thank you for sharing. I hope the comments will continue. Brian
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I'm mad at my school. Today we didn't do nothing about 9/11. No moment of scilence, no memorials nothing! We will never forget. Well guess what, my school did. Regards, Jordan Skok
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Jordan, Whilst it is truly awful that your school did nothing to remember the brave men and women that fought and died on that day, the fact that you remember is wonderful. I am a southwest flight attendant, and I am proud to fly for this airline, and especially on a day like to day. When every plane takes off and lands, we show that we are not afraid and we will not give into fear. God bless America!
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September 11th should be a national holiday.
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I was only 14 yrs old when 9/11 happened, but my LUV for flying and Aviation had already been huge. It was a horrible event that happened to all of us, in small or big cities. We will never forget, I certainly will not. I then became an airline employee for SWA in 2007, and could immediately see the Southwest Spirit that existed September 11th, 2001, and still continues and exist today even. It filled me with pride to work for an airline with LUV, care, and a HUGE HEART for our Employees and Customers together. I certainly want to thank everyone who has served for us, and to steal a line from an old SWA commercial regarding 9/11, I want to thank ALL and EVERY single Airline employee, not just at SWA, but American, United, Delta, Continental to name a few, and thank them for working hard through the hard and tough times, and working together to KEEP AMERICA FLYING. Alex
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As a former member of our armed forces who served as a combat medic during Desert Storm and as a search and rescue worker at ground zero immediately following 9/11/01, I am saddened by the lack of completion on the Freedom Tower. It has been 8 years since that dark day and still ground zero looks the same. Come on Americans, write your congressman or who ever you have to and lets get the Freedom Tower completed!! The Petagon and Flight#93 have their memorials, Those who lost their lives at ground zero deserve theirs!! I know you will never forget the date, please lets not forget the names of those who died?
Active Member
Allie, Being a (retired) travel industry professional and having flown with Southwest for almost three decades, I can tell you without hesitation that if you're flying with Southwest, you have nothing to worry about, for more reasons than I can fit in the space provided here. They are some of the most well-trained people in the industry today. They are encouraged to be caring and creative indiviuals, and truly appreciate their passengers. In short, even though I have never worked for Southwest, I've always had the feeling that I was in the company of family whenever I've flown with them. Relax and enjoy your flight. Like a certain insurance company, you're in good hands. Jordan, Even though your school "forgot" 9/11, you obviously didn't. There's a biblical passage that mentions "...And a child shall lead them." I think it's admirable that you as a student remembered it where "grown-ups" forgot. Others could learn from you. (And hopefully are.) And to my "family" members at Southwest, what more can I say? Your actions speak for you :-) Paul In CRP
New Arrival
I still remember what happened on the day that changed America forever, 9/11/01. I took a trip down to Ft. Lauderdale from Tampa over the Labor Day weekend in 2001, flying back from FLL to TPA on Southwest. The weekend before 9/11/01, my sister and my nephew both took a trip to Ft. Lauderdale - ironically on Southwest as well! Then came Tuesday, 9/11/01, which was like any other day. I was riding the bus to work as I was living in an apartment complex while I was getting my house ready to sell (it was my mother's, but I lost her in March 2000 and the house went to me; it was way too much maintenance for me to handle). Once I settled in to the office I went about my usual business of seeing to it that the filing was being done, among other things. My co-worker came back from her break and told me the horrific news: A plane crashed into the World Trade Center in New York. I asked her, "are you serious?" I stepped aside to a conference room where there was a TV on and my fears were confirmed: Not one but two planes crashed into the World Trade Center in New York, one on the north tower and another on the south tower. As I work in a 10-story municipal office building in St. Petersburg (and being surrounded by taller office buildings in the downtown St. Petersburg area), I was getting scared by the minute. Only after all US airspace was shut down to all commercial air traffic I started being relieved; I was concerned after what happened in New York, Washington and Shanksville PA - could it happen in Florida? That was in the back of my mind as the attack on America was taking place. Right after I got home all the TV channels devoted coverage to what happened; you could not flip from channel to channel without watching what happened. What happened on 9/11/01 will remain etched in my mind as long as I live.
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I just want to say that I'm 14 and proud to say that I will be flying a Southwest jet around this country in 9 years!
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When I heard 9/11, firstly I couldn't believe how can this be possible with a well developed country like USA! But it really happened & now, I would like to salute our heroes who lost their life while protecting the country. God Bless Them!!
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When management at my company sent everyone home from work, I spent the entire afternoon watching the news and booking $29 fares online for my travel over the next several months. I wasn't going to let terrorists keep me down. Literally. When flights resumed on September 14, I was on one of them.The passengers were few in number that day, but we would have been more than a match for any terrorists. nsx at flyertalk.com's Southwest forum